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Geesh, what a stupid thing to say !

639 Views 21 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  seashell
Today I was walking back to my car with my trusty walker, minding my own business, when I woman pulled over in a car, wound down the window and said 'your walker is too low, if you got a taller one you could stand up straight'.

As many of you already know, I walk bent forwards at the hips at a 45% angle. If I stand up right I immediately fall over backwards (as in landing on the floor with a thud).

I looked at her incredulously (why, I have no idea, as this is not the first time this has happened) and said 'this is just the shape I am, do you really think i am so stupid as to use an incorrectly adjusted walker?'

It's not like I haven't had a fleet of OT's and physio's and goodness knows who else looking at the way I walk and adjusting my walker etc etc.

Man, this is so stupid. I get people telling me all the time if I lengthened my crutches I would be able to stand up right. People even offer to do it for me - with my old crutches I was tempted to take them up on the offer as one of them was so silted up I could never get it to move - who knows, maybe they would have better luck ?

I am just amazed that total strangers would come up to me and tell me how to use my mobility equipment, and also that they would think I was stupid enough to not find a way of standing up straight if I could ? Whose body is it anyway ? This is just so bizzare.

For the first time, I was really happy with my response. I wasn't nasty, just honest. But honestly, I have had time to think about responses because as I said before, this is not the first time this has happened. It was the first time someone pulled off the road to bless me with their words of wisdom though .....

have a nice day

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That woman is obviously blessed with the good fortune that has allowed her to go through life totally and blissfully stupid. Sometimes the sheer ignorance and willful stupidity of people knocks me off my feet (metaphorically). I'm sorry you have to deal with this, Raglet. Wish I had a "fix-it" card.

It is good when we actually know what to say. Most of the time we're so surprised by people's stupid comments that we just stand there totally gobsmacked!

and yes, a truly silly woman!

It does make me think though of an incident with the kids recently. They saw a very old man walking, almost bent double at a 90° angle and they asked why he was walking like that. We just said that his back was old and tired but between them they decided that he was walking like that to better see things on the ground and not trip up.

hi Katharine

tell those kids they have an excellent point ! I don't see much of the view, but I certainly see every little detail of the carpet/pavement/lawn/driveway whatever.



"Only two things have no end - infinity and the stupidity of mankind," Albert Einsten.

I do find that some people tend to think with their mouths..... Its amazing to me how many people are so incredibly opinionated on just about every subject

Here's another handy retort in a similar type situation:

"Madam would do well to engage her brain before her mouth when commenting on my disability"

Luv n stuff

Ya gotta love ignorant people. What was this woman thinking? Ignorance is bliss, or so they say.

I am often questioned by people when I park in a handicap parking spot. Folks will actually ask me why I am parking there......Your not handicapped!

My reply is simple, I just say what does Mental Illness look like to you?:rotfl:

It gives ignorant people food for thought. Joan is right, some people think with their mouths.:mad:
Would'nt it be good if you could come up with a retort to make yourself laugh at the very moment she decided 'give you stupid advice'

Its never there the second you want to say it?

Let me think retort:hehe:

1. "Oh there is nothing wrong with me, I just like to gain sympathy and make people stop what they are doing and give me their advice.

2. ' Im in 'character for a film Im in. Dont you recognise me?/ could you move away as you may draw attention.

3. 'It belongs to a friend , Im just trying it out.

Im sure there are other retorts which are better than mine...

People are such twits.
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:rotfl:Oh my god, what a belly laugh! You guys crack me up

But seriously Raglet, Im sorry to hear that you have to put up with such crap. What you said was Perfect so dont worry about what you could or should have said, they would just justify their comment in their mind regardless. But just for laughs, here is another retort for you to add to the others.

The Crutch for your ignorance is set too low, try raising it!

Big Hugs

Shell xo
Take a deep breath and try to remember they just want to help. Even though I have lupus, just think if you seen someone coming in a wheelchair you would open the door in hopes that would make their day easier. They are just trying to do the same for you no matter how upsetting it is to you, it is comforting to them that they offered some help to you(wheather you needed it or not). Sorry I'm in public relations so I see both sides of everything and try to do the positive most of the time. Not much help for your problem but maybe some comfort for the next time.
Try smiling at them.
You know, I just don't see this sort of behaviour as being helpful. I really think that people need to be come more aware about disability, and just plain learn some disability etiquette . It gets to be an incredible pain in the whatsit to have endless people wanting to 'help' me all the time, when I just plain don't need it. Honestly, if I had 5 cents for everytime I said (politely) 'no thanks, I don't need any help' to strangers who are butting in and trying to 'help' when I am doing just fine, I would be a millionaire. Ditto when I am in a wheelchair - door opening is just one of those things you learn to do from a chair, it's no biggie.

On a very fundamental level I see this as being about physically able people seeing me as someone who is less than capable of looking after herself, just because I have a disability. They need to learn to look past my disability and see the capable person I am.

This is way beyond someone opening the door for me - in that situation of course I would just smile and say thank you, even though often it is funny to see the herculian efforts some people go to to get to the door in time to open it (sprinting towards the door to get there in time etc), when I am quite capable of opening it myself.

Honestly, I couldn't give a two hoots if I offer some physically able person the 'comfort of knowing they helped me', especially if the help wasn't helpful. Actually I find the thought of doing that makes me want to throw up! People do amazing things, they grab stuff that I am carrying out of my arms (how rude) etc etc, just because they decide I am can't do it, when actually I can.

I am very good at asking for help when I need it, and yes at times I ask a total stranger to help me out, and I am always very grateful for their assistance.

It's not my job to give other people the warm fuzzies for interferring in my life. I have noticed a huge difference in the way strangers treat me since I have become so obviously physically disabled. If I am out with someone else (family or friends), strangers will often ask THEM what I would like, rather than asking me directly (for example, they will ask whoever I am with 'would she like tea or coffee' rather than asking me). Perhaps I should be grateful for this too. My family and friends ALWAYS answer (bless them) 'ask her'.

oh well, the joys of disability politics


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Hey Raglet,

Your message really struck a cord with me. You're absolutely 1000% right. Senseless acts of "kindness" can truly be maddening...

I couldn't stop laughing when I read that people grab stuff you're carrying because they decide you just can't do it and need help. At the checkout counter in the supermaket my things always vanish magically from my cart and they always, always magically appear (neatly placed and all) on the counter belt. First couple of weeks this happened I would spend about 5 minutes trying to determine if I've got the wrong cart and where my stuff went off to and how as I couldn't think of anything else that might have happened to it....naive me...! And when someone, after I gave up looking and asked the person behind me for help (because of course nobody would talk to me during this dance; they just let me search like mad in silence) with locating my stuff they, without fail, said something along the lines of: "oh poor sweetie I moved it for you because you couldn't do it... Oh poor sweetie they're just here; why isn't anyone here to look after you? Ts ts ts" :eek: .

I tried to be polite for a few weeks as I was too stunned to do anything else really, but I'm happy to say that now whenever I approach the supermarket checkout counter I just say "if anyone moves my stuff they'll get conked on the head with the cane" and that's that :lol: . Sometimes it works and other times my stuff still lands on the counter without anyone saying anything and most of the times I just laugh when I find the stuff has jumped to the counter, but really these people need some lessons... I know that most of the people who do things like that mean "well" (and I do try to explain some stuff when I can) but as they say "**** is paved with good intentions" and some people really to learn that people with disabilities are their equals and not less-than others.

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I told my sister about this thread the other day. She has RA and walks with a stick on a good day and a wheelchair the rest of the time. She has 3 children and gets a load of hassle for using disabled facilities because obviously if you are young and have 3 kids you are not allowed to be disabled or she gets really nasty comments about how poor her kids are for having a disabled mum.

Anyway when I told her about some of the tales on here she recounted what had happened to her at the supermarket that day. As she pulled into the disabled parking bay and old man came up to her banged on the front of her car and started shouting that she couldn't park there. She had her baby and older daughter in the car who was frightened by the man and so my sister told the kids to sit tight and the man would leave.
He didn't. He kept on shouting and swearing and so my sister not wanting her daughter to hear such language calmly got her kids out of the car. If the guy hadn't seen the disabled badge in the front of the car he sure would have noticed her very obvious physical difficulties. Midway through wedging the baby into her buggy a security guard came along and asked the man to leave he was verbally abusive to the security guard as well so he was escorted to his car.
My sister stood and watched with glee as the security guard discovered the man was parked in a disabled bay and had no disabled badge and so was fined £60!

It is beautiful when peoples ignorance gets them in trouble rather than just frustrating us!
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Well Raglet I am dumbfounded :shrug:, I am rather impress though at your quick thinking the woman probably ment well but is obviously rather simple! She may want to try engaging her brain before opening her trap next time! Then again some people never learn do they?

You know what they say though ignorance is bliss, maybe they want to try walking in your shoes someday, they might just get it then!

Keep smiling :)

Dear Raglet,
A few of the things that have happend to me....BUT.....the other way round.
I worked for over 20 yrs for various airlines...which included caring for 'disabled passengers I always got 'em.
Once taking a skiing accident passenger in a wheelchair from the aircraft....leg stuck out in a plaster in front of him...i saw the lift closing so a dashed along and pushed him was only a short elevator and his leg went smack against the wall....
Another time I had to escort a blind passenger to the plane ...I was the that busy chatting away to him..i forgot about the wet floor sign...well i saw it..but afraid he didn't..he was taken to the aircraft by wheelchair...
Then I was pregnant and had to take an elderly foriegn lady to the plane....I don't know what she had beeen eating but i'm sensitive to smell she ended up helping me tobe sick at the bottom of the aircraft steps!!!!
I do always ask first 'can I help you'...don't know how lucky they are if they say 'no thanks'

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hahahaha Marika, I think if you offer to help I just might have to take a raincheck :lol::lol::lol:

It's very polite to say 'can I help' - then the person can just say yes please or no thanks, just barging in is so rude.

Poor you, throwing up at the bottom of the steps - gesh, gotta wonder if you made it through that flight.


I am so aghast reading these tales of what has to be endured. I can't match them because I dont have any obvious disabilities but I do have a story about the interference aspect which some of you have heard before.

When my lupus was not controlled, my face skin sort of flaked off after flares as the inflammation subsided and the blistering healed, rather like paint peeling off a wall. Even with excellent camouflage make up for all the redness and stuff you can't totally disguise that sort of textural abnormality.
I was chatting to an acquaintance at a fairly posh do when she said "Clare you have a piece of tissue stuck to your face", at the same time she reached out and pulled the bit of old skin clean off. This left a very red raw patch about a square inch almost bleeding as the new skin was still growing underneath. It hurt too!

:rotfl: She was so mortified, talk about shock horror, it was almost worth it because I never liked her anyway. The way she looked at me, then at this piece of skin she was holding in her dainty perfectly manicured fingers was priceless.

:rotfl: Sad sort of thing to laugh about but hey, much better than crying

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Eeeek Clare, what an awful thing to happen! Glad you lived to laugh about it - I definitely winced as I read it - ouch.


Don't you occasionally wish for a handgun?:)
hahaha, not sure about the handgun - maybe a large water pistol instead ?

I was thinking this morning when I was out doing some shopping that one thing I totally don't mind is inquisitive children. I often get little ones wanting to know what my walker is, I even had one wee tot call it 'lady bike' which was very cute. Kids are just so uninhibited, they just want to learn, and I love it.


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